I love reading everyone’s daily status updates on things they are thankful for during the month of November. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The thing I am most thankful for once November comes around is that October is over! I know, I know, it doesn’t make any sense. I am a breast cancer survivor and what a great month to make everyone aware of the disease. And I help run a breast cancer charity, so what a great month for our charity because of all the support we receive. But I honestly have a love/hate relationship with October.
By October 31st I am pinked-out. And I don’t mean pinked-out like those fun, all-pink high school football games that usually raise money for a breast cancer charity. I mean pinked-out as in I would be totally happy if the color pink stopped existing just for a hot minute. Part of me sees pink and thinks, oh what a lovely color and how awesome that people wear it to show their support of such an ugly disease. And another part of me sees pink and am reminded of the year I was diagnosed, had major surgery, lost my hair and wasn’t sure if anything I was doing to get rid of cancer was going to work. As much as I try not to let breast cancer define me, it still does, and more so in October.
But what I love about October is how so many people and local businesses want to help, not just with my breast cancer charity, but all breast cancer charities. This past October we had pink hair extensions at a local hair salon, we had a pink cycle ride, pink barre classes, we had a pink happy hour at a local brewery and yes, even pink-out high school games. The local community truly is amazing around me. And while I personally struggle through October because of the reminder of what I went through NINE years ago, it has become a month of awareness and action on the fight against breast cancer.
Part of the definition of who I am is “Survivor.” October will always be both an important month and a long month for me. But nine Octobers since my diagnosis and I am still here, and I plan to enjoy many, many more. And for that, I am thankful.
Pink Powder Puff game at a local high school
Beautiful pink spread at a barre class at Native Barre
Fun but sweaty pink cycle class at PopCycle
Pink happy hour at Ono Brewing Company